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Shop offers people, pooch treats

August 13, 2006|by CANDICE BOSELY

Charles R. "Chip" Stewart is a lawyer, local business owner and, yes, a dog-holder.

When a regular customer came into the shop owned by Stewart and his partner, Valerie Minteer, Stewart held the customer's dog outside while the dog's owner bought the pooch three treats, including a vanilla ice cream made specifically for dogs.

Bones & Cones Dessertery, which sells desserts for both people and their pets, opened at 2 S. Potomac St. on Hagerstown's Public Square on April 29.

The shop features all-natural ice cream from South Mountain Creamery, which does not give its cows any hormones or antibiotics, and handmade waffle cones.

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It also sells fine desserts including cakes, truffles, chocolate mousses and cream puffs; traditional baked items such as cookies, cupcakes, brownies and muffins; sandwiches, including egg salad and a sandwich with turkey, mango chutney and sprouts; chocolates from Moonstruck, which the shop had to apply to carry; coffee sold both freshly brewed and in bulk; and seasonal items.

The baked goods are all handmade either in the shop or specifically for it and most feature all-natural ingredients.

For dogs, Bones & Cones carries frozen desserts, freeze-dried ice cream, a variety of bones, canned food and other treats. Items for cats also are available.

Health regulations prohibit dogs from coming inside, but a walk-up window is available.

Minteer and Stewart estimate they've spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on the shop and a second shop, an antique store, that Minteer owns with her mother.

On a recent morning, a steady stream of customers went into Bones & Cones, with several remarking on how nice it was.

The idea for Bones & Cones came during a lunch outing. After eating lunch one afternoon Minteer decided she wanted ice cream.

"There's no ice cream downtown," Stewart said. "She said she was going to open a dessert place and I kind of looked at her and said, 'Sure you are.' And she did it."

When the couple moved here from Montgomery County, Md., about three years ago, they said they saw in Hagerstown "incredible architecture" in a large community with a small-town feel.

They also saw potential not yet fully realized.

"The downtown really needs a huge lift and we're trying to help that along," Minteer said.

The two are trying to coordinate businesses, started an advertising group and created Destination Hagerstown, a group that meets monthly.

"(Hagerstown) has a long way to go but we're hoping that we're on the beginning of the explosion of a vibrant community," Minteer said. "If I could open five more shops, I would."

Minteer and her mother, Mary, own Cloak & Cupboard Antiques, which also is in Public Square, caddy-corner from the dessert shop.

The antique store features 18th to 20th century furniture, textiles, decorative arts and accessories.

The inventory changes, but the shop carries wooden items, books, vintage clothing, glass items, photo frames, jewelry, fine writing supplies, gifts and other items.

Meanwhile, frequent Bones & Cones customer Joann Kells was the woman buying three treats for her dog, being held outside by Stewart.

"I love it. It's awesome ice cream," she said of Bones & Cones, saying that Hagerstown needed a shop with ice cream to meet her afternoon cravings.

"Two-thirty, 3 (p.m.) is my weakness," she said.

As for her dog, Jesse, she gave his assessment a few minutes later as they sat together on the square.

"He loved it," she said.

Bones & Cones is open daily, on Monday through Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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